Plantar Fasciitis Explained
For millions of people around the world the simple act of walking sends needles of pain up their shin and calf muscles because of the pain inflicted by Plantar Fasciitis.
This terrible condition of the foot leaves many of our clients in agony, sometimes unable to put any pressure on the affected area at all. But what is this complaint and why does it happen? Let's find out.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a chronic, recurring condition of the foot or feet that can take months, if not years, to completely disappear. Patients with this unfortunate disease experience excruciating pain under the heel of the foot. This foot pain can be similar to walking on needles, a burning sensation or can even transpire as pain in other areas of the foot as the body re-balances itself to compensate.
In short: Plantar Fasciitis warrants an immediate trip to the podiatrist. Worse, an estimated 1 in 10 of us will suffer from it at some point in our lives (NCBI).
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The Plantar Fascia is a muscle that starts at the toes and runs along the arch of the foot. It wraps around the ankle and runs up the calf. When this muscle is repetitively damaged small fissures appear in it. Foot pain occurs because as the muscle becomes used to tearing and then healing itself it starts to grow extra little nodules along the length of it. These nodules can be removed by deep tissue massage but it is incredibly painful.
It is thought that flat footwear such as skate-shoes, converse, flip-flops and any other type of shoe without arch support are at least in part to blame. Other causes include a sudden change in lifestyle that sees you on your feet more than you used to be, sudden weight gain or prolonged obesity, repetitive strain injuries of the ankles, toes or other areas of the foot and, on occasion, too much exercise.
Standard Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
Doctors often recommend that you stay off the affected area. But the pain can range from mild to severe. And it can take up to several months for it to disappear completely. Engaging in a course of physical therapy mixed with deep tissue massage also helps improve pain. A heat pack will help temporarily when it is at its worst. But you should seek a podiatrist's help as this condition tends to become more painful when proper treatment is not received in a timely manner.
The next step would be to try immobilizing the foot. A walking stick can help to keep the weight off. Night splints may be used to secure the area while you sleep and, in the most painful of times, anesthetics may be used to lessen the pain. Steroid injections may also be prescribed to help the muscles heal. Although effective, this treatment needs to be repeated every few weeks which can be unpleasant and time consuming.
Advanced Technologies and Treatment Options
At Premier Podiatry, we are pleased to offer some revolutionary new treatments for this condition that can help manage the pain and put you on the road to recovery.
We will first confirm your diagnosis with ultrasound imaging. That also helps rule out other heel pathology. We can then use specialized 3D foot scanning device to create custom-molded orthotics specifically tailored for your foot. That can help rectify your posture and minimize pain over time. We are also able to administer Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections which promote healing to the area using the patient's own blood. Additionally, we offer K-Laser therapy - a non invasive alternative to Plantar Fasciectomy. K-Laser Therapy is an innovative solution that treats the pain without resorting to surgery.
Call our office for more information or book an appointment today to put an end to your foot pain, once and for all.